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sn.aperture: learning the lens, pt. 3
























Today was our much anticipated portrait project, and it turned out great. I had a wonderful model named Matt who was very open to doing all kinds of poses and actions, and I think that I came away with some really nice shots of him. More after the jump...


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sn.aperture: learning the lens, pt. 2


More work from my photography course:


Don't be afraid to fill up the frame!


Use of the foreground :

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sn.aperture: learning the lens, pt. 1




Wow, I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted. Life has been quite hectic, being overwhelmingly consumed with working odd hours, and fitting in wedding planning in between. As a 99% D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) bride, my free moments aren't so "free" anymore, but are chock-full of crafting, contacting, consulting, and coordinating. So instead of bombarding the blog with washi tape patterns and crepe flower designs, I've been laying low a bit. Perhaps I will share some of my projects later if the spirit moves, but who knows?


Though the wedding has been keeping me busy, life hasn't been all work and no play. Max and I have been spending weekends enjoying the summer weather, having fun and eating good food! During the week, I have also been working on a very exciting project. Thanks to an awesome Groupon deal a few months back, a newly procured Canon T2i, and the adult art classes offered by The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, I have been able to delve into the wonderful world of digital photography.


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life.style weekends: behind the lens












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life.time: the past 30 days

Wedding Prep I
Wedding prep II
 The past month has been life altering to say the least. If you've read the "I'm coming home" post, you know that I proposed to Dig (and she said yes thankfully). A few weeks later my grandmother passed away. No matter what, I'll always have the memories she & I formed together before her time was done. She was a tough hard-working lady who earned everything she had; I'll take those principles and apply them towards achieving my goals: Rest in Peace Big Momma.

Check out that past 30 days in photos:
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life.style product: Warby Parker


Thanks to genetics, corrective lenses are a necessary to make it through my daily life. And being an ardent supporter of getting that extra sleep before heading off to work, I need some new frames so I could not depend so much on my contacts. Look no further than Warby Parker, an eye wear retailer, with very affordable frame & lenses combo: $95.

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shelf.life: free chicken tastes best


Yep, I got this beautiful bird absolutely free of charge! Even though I pride myself on finding the best deals, I must thank my younger sisters for putting me on to the freebie offers at Earth Fare

On my trip home, I paid a first visit to this wonderful organic food supermarket and fell in love. I'm all  for natural food stores that are customer oriented and quaint, but still offer a vast product selection. Though they are pretty much in line with other health food stores as far as pricing is concerned (translation = expensive!), I have to give them kudos for their savings campaign; by signing up for their email list, you will receive valuable freebies and coupons ever week. Because you can get your coupons immediately by signing up at an in-store kiosk, I couldn't pass up the chance to bring this freebie chicken back to Richmond.


After a little research, I knew I had to try out the highly acclaimed recipe for Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style.


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road.trip: i'm coming home!

20 pxImage via Wikipedia



Oh, how it feels like the Best Week Ever (does that show still come on?)! Max and I hit the road this past week to make the 1400 mile road trip to our home state of Alabama, and back. It's always quite an adventure on a trip home because I abhor driving and Max is not shy about expressing his disdain for Atlanta traffic, "amateur" drivers, and the pointlessness of speed limits on the interstate (smile). But, we take the journey anyway, nervousness, road rage and all, because we miss our families dearly.


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life.style: Black Celebration - 26, 27 & 28 of 28


Making History Today!
First African American First Family; no description needed!

Remember, African Americans making history did not end in the 1960s; there are notable people making strides in every facet of American culture and lifestyle, from business to politics, sports to music, to arts and media. There was once a time where I was truly amazed at the triumphs and accomplishments of African Americans during times of oppression and discrimination, and wondered why during present times (with fewer barriers and greater opportunities) we were not achieving as much as a people. I then grew, broadened my perspective, and opened my eyes to the world around me, and realized history is still being made everyday.


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life.style: Black Celebration 22, 23, 24, & 25 of 28

For my last post of this month's anthology I give you a quartet of amazingly inspiring musical artists.


Ella Fitzgerald






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life.style: Black Celebration - 19, 20 & 21 of 28


"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated."


Paul Revere Williams
First African American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and  first African American to be voted an AIA Fellow
I am writing this celebratory post today with Max in mind. With his strong appreciation for architecture and design, I felt it appropriate to look deeper into the role of African Americans in commercial and public design/development. Though severely underrepresented, there are a number of very talented and accomplished black architects who have made amazing contributions to the design world.


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life.style: Black Celebration 17 & 18 of 28

Howard Bingham


"The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer."-Gordon Parks


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life.style: Black Celebration 16 of 28


"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."-Jackie Robinson

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life.style: Black Celebration 14 & 15 of 28

With the Academy Awards also known as the Oscars upon us this upcoming weekend, I wanted to shed light on a few actors that trail blazed in their field opening doors for generations to come:
Nichelle Nichols & Sidney Poitier.

"Don't you realize you have the first non-stereotypical role on television. Don't you realize that not only for our own little Black children but for people who don't look like us, for the first time they will see us as equals." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Nichelle Nichols (excerpt from Jet Magazine interview, 1994)


"I've learned that I must find positive outlets for anger or it will destroy me. There is a certain anger: it reaches such intensity that to express it fully would require homicidal rage--self destructive, destroy the world rage--and its flame burns because the world is so unjust. I have to try to find a way to channel that anger to the positive, and the highest positive is forgiveness. "
The Measure Of A Man - Sidney Poitier
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life.style: Black Celebration - 13 of 28


"...She has been a steady and forceful advocate...reminding people everywhere that freedoms are won not only by idealism but by persistence and will over a long time."


My heart swells with pride over African American women (particularly sorors!) who have accomplished as much as Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander. I would be here all day if I were to write a biography of her lifetime achievements, so I've decided to highlight some of her most remarkable accomplishments:

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life.style: Black Celebration - 9, 10, 11 & 12 of 28

World renowned dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham (with Vanoye Aikens) in L'Ag'Ya, 1938

Coming on the heels of Natalie Portman and the success of Black Swan (which Max and I absolutely loved), I find it only fitting to showcase true Black swans!

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life.style: Black Celebration - 8 of 28


“Let us put our money out as usury among ourselves and reap the benefit ourselves. Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.”


I have been very fortunate to have lived in multiple areas very rich in Black history and achievement, and Richmond is no exception. As a familiar name to any Richmond native, Maggie L. Walker is the perfect example of boast-worthy local trailblazing.

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life.style: Love to love you


No matter the politics, you must admit this photo is an epitome of love. Happy Valentine's Day!


To all my guys, don't let the expectations of the holiday pull you down. If you're with a woman that loves you, she only desires to see you put effort towards exhibiting that amount of love. Is that too much to ask? So stop and get her favorite flower (hopefully you know that by now), a bottle of wine, and enjoy her company.

Much regard,
Max

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life.style: Black Celebration - 7 of 28

"Whatever you do, do it with style!"


Growing up I thoroughly enjoyed cooking, entertaining, and home decorating programs on tv. I dreamed about being an adult with an immaculately decorated house, hosting parties for friends, serving gourmet-worthy canap├ęs and signature drinks (I actually still have those dreams). Martha Stewart was my go-to life.style guru for many years - that is, until middle school when I happened upon a show called B. Smith With Style.

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life.style: Black Celebration- 6 of 28

"You're not Negroid enough, you're too light, you will photograph too white, your speech is too perfect."



 Osceola Macarthy Adams (stage name Osceola Archer), one of my beloved  Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was an African American pioneer of the arts. She holds the distinction of being one of the first African American actresses on Broadway and one of the first African American women to direct stage productions professionally, as well as a theatre educator and clothing designer.

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life.style: Black Celebration - 3, 4, & 5 of 28



Here's a trio of musical genius and style equivalent for life.style: Black Celebration.
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life.style: Black Celebration- 1 & 2 of 28




Here's the beginning of a 28 day photo celebration of Black History month. And since I missed the first of February, I'm starting things off with a connection most overlooked: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.

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winter.wear: shawl collar continued

The Polo Rugby Shawl collar sweater fits like a glove, no doubt about it. Being just the right thickness, somewhere between a basic cardigan and a cable-knit sweater, it's an extremely
versatile layer. The comfort level is top notch and the fit is true-to-size.
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shelf.life: cooking with chorizo



I cannot resist a sale, even when grocery shopping. I walk down the aisles and those bright orange stickers just call out to me, begging me to buy and buy and stuff into my already packed freezer. I find myself digging through the freezer sometimes on those "I have nothing to eat" days and discovering a gem ingredient, as so happened recently with a pack of chorizo that has been chilling in my freezer for months.


I'll admit, I've only cooked with chorizo one other time as a filler in jambalaya, so my experience with the sausage is pretty limited. I scoured some of my fave online recipe-sharing sites and came across a highly rated recipe for Sauteed Potatoes with Chorizo.

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winter.wear: shawl sweater





With 90% of the US still being battered by winter's frigid wrath, there's time a plenty to get great wear out of your winter gear. And with many clothiers eager to introduce their spring/summer pieces, winter gear is available at great discount prices (20%-40% off).
I picked up this Polo Rugby lambswool patch sweater and I'm finally going to break it out tomorrow for Formal Fridays.
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Introducing {w3}t: what.we.wore.today



Here is our version of the WIWT (What I Wore Today for the uninitiated).

Dig and I spent Saturday looking for more deals and taking in the relatively good VA winter weather-no snow. With our opposing work schedules, the weekends are the moments when you should expect {w3}t: what.we.wore.today.

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second.hand account: trench coat



Max and I took some time out this weekend to explore some of the thrift stores in the city. We had expectations of catching hold of some of the better finds from people fitting in their end-of-year tax deductible donations, but unfortunately came away a bit empty handed. Out of the three shops we visited, I only ended up making a purchase from one (a much smaller-scaled thrift store which has been my favorite, by far, since moving to Richmond). It was a good day to peruse some of the pricier items since everything was 50% off that day. My favorite buy ended up being this London Fog trench coat:

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life.style resolutions 2011


{1}Shop what I got
the green dress by kandyjaxx, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  kandyjaxx 


{2}Wear red hot lips in public



{3}Do it better in heels...and show no pain
_MG_1788 by Shifteye, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  Shifteye 


{4}Introduce color to the curls


{5}Embrace classic femininity
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Welcome




Welcome to Life.Style Coalesced. With this new venture we will kick-off a veritable catalog of our growth in all things creative. From style to crafts and more, you can expect to be inspired and entertained.


Of course with the arrival and gift of a new year comes resolutions. And what better way to kick of the blog than list.

  1. Increase knowledge of fabrics, industry terms, etc (inspiration from the Bonobos ninjas )
  2. Learn how to sew (Dig got me a sewing machine for Christmas)
  3. Sketch more consistently and better (To help foster my desire to design)

Looking forward you can expect an account of our thrift store adventures this month. I've read that January is a great month to look for finds due to a bevy of donating during the December months. Stay tuned people.




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